Friday, November 20, 2009

Q.E.II and Frida Kahlo

Queen Elizabeth married Prince Philip on this day in 1947. She was 21 and had been in love with him since she was 13. Theirs is an odd and oddly charming relationship. Look at it from his point of view: he's been walking two paces behind this woman for 62 years, waiting for her to talk, minding his manners as best he can. She pays him an allowance. He appears twice in A Book of Ages, she seven times, and several more times in other people's anecdotes. The royal wedding was celebrated in a film starring Fred Astaire, in which the 51 year-old Astaire danced with dumbbells, a hat rack, a framed photograph, a chandelier and Jane Powell (page 194).

The Mexican Revolution began on this day in 1910, not with gunfire but paperwork, a document called the Plan de San Luis Potosi which denounced the president. Painter Frida Kahlo's earliest childhood memory was of gunfire. Her mother served tea to revolutionaries hiding in their garden, details to be found on page 7 in A Book of Ages. (The book is full of revolutionaries, left, right and center.)

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